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Celebrate Your 21st Birthday


With some friends on my 21st!

We all know the connotation of drinking at Madison, but turning 21 is still vital to nightlife in this city. Unless you know the bouncer at a bar, or have a pretty good fake, you aren’t getting to experience one of the best aspects of living in Madison.

This past weekend, I was finally able to join all of my friends at the bars for my birthday. I decided that I needed to go out for a celebratory shot at midnight even though we were officially celebrating my birthday on Saturday. I chose Whiskey Jacks because I thought their music and dance floor would be a perfect venue for my 21st birthday shot.

The dance floor at Whiskey Jacks was so much fun and I even got to dance on the stage for a little while with some of my friends! After one birthday shot turned into four, we decided to call it a night so we all would have enough energy to celebrate the next night.

Great Dane Beer

Great Dane Beer

Although Saturday morning was pretty rough, I powered through by thinking about my delicious dinner at the Great Dane. Most people celebrate their birthday at the Nitty Gritty, but I was basically the last of my friends to have a birthday and I wanted to do something new! I love the food and atmosphere of the Great Dane and I’ve never been disappointed with my selection from their huge menu. I had fish and chips for my birthday dinner and also got a free pint of beer, which the Great Dane brews themselves. Their light lager went perfectly with my meal!

After dinner, we went back to my apartment for cake and then got ready for the bars. We went to the Nitty first for power hour (10-11 pm) since drinks are $1.25 each. On your birthday you get a balloon and a mug, along with free beer all night. My dad and his girlfriend made the trip up and bought everyone a celebratory Rum Chata shot before we headed to Wando’s.

We spent the majority of the night on the third floor of Wando’s with plenty of fishbowls to pass around. Some of the group decided to do a fishbowl race, but I decided that might not be a good idea with all of the birthday shots I had already done. One of my best friends bought me a birthday fishbowl and I wanted to do a different color than the regular ones, so I chose lava. I think it was a combination of red and orange and it was delicious!

Our last bar for the night was Chaser’s, where it was buy a shot get a beer night. Even though at this point of the night I probably didn’t need any more shots, we couldn’t pass up the deal! I had my first mudslide shot followed by a tequila shot, which wasn’t the best combo, but hey, you only turn 21 once!

Wando's fishbowl

My lava fishbowl

We ended the night at Ian’s Pizza, which is probably my favorite drunk food restaurant. I always get the Mac ‘N Cheese pizza (don’t judge unless you’ve tried!) and am never disappointed. My friends got different variations of barbeque chicken pizza, which were also very yummy.

My 21st birthday weekend was the best time I have had in a while and I couldn’t imagine a better city to celebrate it in. I’m so glad that I was able to celebrate with my friends and that everyone had a great time!

-Steph Richter


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